When I look around my group of friends, I find that there’s about a 50-50 split between those who have children and those who don’t. I think I’m lucky in that respect. But when I look at my family, I see a very different picture.
I was really shocked to discover that among my relatives back in the UK, I am the ONLY one of my generation who does not have children and, as a family, we are a pretty fertile bunch. I have one uncle who never married or had children, but all my other aunts and uncles (nine couples), every single one of my 21 cousins (including my brothers), and many (at least seven) of my cousins’ children all have children. The only one who doesn’t is me.
As I live a long way from my family, I’m rarely in one of those big family get-togethers that highlights my childlessness, but even from this distance, I feel odd. I can’t help but wonder why I was singled out for infertility. Clearly, it doesn’t run in my family!
There are benefits to my status, though—I am more accessible to my nieces and nephews, and I also have the flexibility to spend long periods of time with my mother, especially as she gets older, but I still feel sometimes like the oddball in my family.
When you look around at your extended family, are you the only one who doesn’t have children? Or are you surprised to find you’re not alone?